Monday, June 11, 2012

Completing Employment Applications with a Cautious Eye

Before you fill out a company’s application for employment you better read this.

This certainly has to be the wildest thing I have ever experienced in my 16 years in this profession. Let me paint the picture for you. Our client is a leading international broker & risk management firm. Well respected. We’ve worked with them for years. The professional we are assisting is a well-respected & accomplished broker. The broker client HR Recruiter requests that the candidate complete their employment application. Offer extended. Offer accepted. Background check completed by third party company at client’s request. Third party company reports three discrepancies. Offer revoked. Here are the discrepancies:

1. Candidate worked for a broker previously in their career that was acquired by another broker. Instead of breaking the two brokers out the candidate listed their employment as continuous from date of original broker through end date of acquiring broker. Background check found that the candidate was employed with a different start date naturally.
2. At two previous employers the candidate’s job title per offer letter and stated on business card provided by each respective employer stated one title. Upon background check the “official” title on record in HR department records was different.

Upon being told of found discrepancies the candidate produced offer letters from both of these past employers stating title they used to complete the employment application. Candidate also was naturally able to easily explain the discrepancies in employment date regarding the merging companies. So all should be well, right? Nope. Even after the HR Recruiter at our broker client requested the documentation to clear up the discrepancies found by this third party company, they still would not reinstate the offer. Come on, why make this professional provide this supporting documents believing the offer would be reinstated only to not reinstate? This entire fiasco simply boggles my mind.

It certainly has served as an inspiration for this blog topic however. So here is the message to all of you out there completing company employment applications. Be absolutely certain that you complete everything on the application in 100% accurate detail. Be absolutely certain you use the same exact title for a previous position that can be confirmed by your previous employer’s HR department not necessarily what you think your job title was. Be certain if you worked for a company that was acquired by another that you list these out separately with exact dates.

While this is about completing employment applications, I would certainly say that this also applies to your resume and LinkedIn profile. Leave nothing to chance. This was an extremely unfortunate situation for this person. One that frankly should never have happened. However it serves as a reminder to be absolutely certain to have all information on your resume accurate and detailed out, be certain your LinkedIn profile is also accurate and that you complete employment applications with a very cautious eye.

Any similar experiences from any readers?


  1. In the current job market the employer is in the driver seat. Looking at thousands of applications an employer simply will not take the time to seek out and work it out with a potential job candidate. He who can fill out all their little boxes gets the job.

  2. Why would anyone want to work for the company in your story? It is impossible to be sure that the applicant's information matches the third-party exactly. It depends on the quality and methods of the third-party investigation practices. Likewise,t he HR practices of former employers may be lacking. If an employer rejects an documented clarification of discrepancies it is unfortunate but may be doing the applicant a favor.

    1. Spot on! I would not want to work for such a company.

  3. I had a bad experience with a contract company who was using a third-party background check company. When it came to the DMV check, they lost my paperwork twice. I received conflicting information about what was needed, twice, on the telephone.
    When I asked them to provide me with what had been submitted, they submitted page 1 of my DMV background check application, correctly. Page 2 was blank. Page 3 was from a state that I don't live in.
    Not only did I spend three different occasions getting my documentation notarized, but I had to overnight the third set, at my cost.
    Never received an apology from either the hiring company or the third-party company. This all made me very uneasy, since this was my background!

  4. I think the hiring company found something out that they did not like after they extended the offer and used this as their reason for rescinding the offer.

  5. Some of these companies nit pick to the point of being absolutely ridiculous. I for one would not want to have any part of a company like this!